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Water Safety New Zealand

94 lives lost to drowning in 2022. The most drowning deaths in a decade.

Water Safety New Zealand Official Drowning Report - 2022


• Water Safety New Zealand have released the 2022 Annual Drowning Report today showing 94 lives lost to drowning in 2022.

• This 2022 total of 94 drowning deaths represents the largest annual drowning loss of life in the past decade. Tragically 15% higher than the 10 year average.

• As you read this report, please remember that behind each of these statistics is a person with hopes, dreams, and loved ones. We must never forget that.


Water Safety New Zealand’s 2022 drowning report titled “How are we Drowning?” has revealed a total of 94 drowning deaths in New Zealand during the 2022 calendar year.


Water Safety New Zealand Chief Executive Daniel Gerrard reflects with sadness that 94 preventable drownings occurred in 2022, the worst in a decade. Each year, far too many lives are lost to drowning, leaving families and communities devastated.

The report represents a strong call to action for craft users who tragically made up 31% of all drowning deaths in 2022. Another 29 lives needlessly lost that may have been prevented by improved life jacket legislation.


Water Safety New Zealand Chief Executive Daniel Gerrard specifically regrets the lack of Parliamentary support, to resolve the inconsistency in life jacket regulations. “So, how much longer do New Zealanders have to wait, and how many more lives must be lost before we can all agree to affect this important change?”

To help members of the public better understand the drowning risks that face New Zealanders everyday, the 2022 report “How are we Drowning?” has been published on the Water Safety New Zealand website and shares drowning insights according to activity, environment, gender, ethnicity, age group and location.





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